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AHALLOWEENTRADITION The Story of the Hot Dog Stand
My family moved into my grandmother’s house on a busy street in Chicago, next to Jim and his family, 15 years ago. When Halloween rolled around that year, we realized that our street was so busy it deterred trick-or-treaters. My grandmother used to buy candy every year, hoping children would stop by, but to no avail. Jim’s oldest was 10 at the time, and in order to make Halloween memorable for my kids and niece and nephews, I started a hot dog stand. It became a family gathering place, and as the kids got older, they would invite their friends to stop buy while trick-or-treating. Over the years, the stand has snowballed, and now we serve tons of kids each year. My kids and their cousins are grown up, but the legacy of the hot dog stand continues.
"My kids and their cousins are grown up, but the legacy of the hot dog stand continues."
This year, I gave out around 150 hot dogs. The kids love it, and I’ve become something of a legend! As the stand has gotten bigger, we have decided to set up tables and chairs. That way, the kids can sit and eat before they get back to trick-or- treating. From the grill, I got to watch my children and their friends grow. Now I can meet new kids and watch them mature too. We live very close to the school, and there is only one class per grade. So when the kids start showing up, I turn to Theresa and say, “Oh man, here come the fourth graders!”and so on, until every class has come and gone. What started as a family tradition has grown into a community event. I love listening to the kids rave about the hot dogs and see how much fun they have stopping by every year. It’s heartwarming to know they appreciate our fun spin on trick-or- treating. Even though our kids are grown, I plan on manning the stand for many years to come.
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